Product Manager Weekly Reading #34

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) Ultimate Guide to Product Prioritization

Vijay Balachandran, Product Manager at Trimble, compiled a guide of various feature prioritization techniques that are tested and advocated by industry veterans.

2) 16 Product Things I Learned at Imgur

Sam Gerstenzang, Investor at A16Z and previous Director of Product at Imgur, lists the top 16 product things he learned during his work at Imgur.

3) The Product Death Cycle. Why It Happens, and How to Break Out of It.

Andrew Chen, former EIR at Mohr Davidow Ventures, discusses why you should really address the root causes of the product death cycle vs. building more product.

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Opticon 2015: 10 Secrets to Building an Amazing Mobile Testing Roadmap

Over the past couple of days, I’ve had the opportunity to attend Opticon 2015, a huge conference for the experience optimization and testing community. Hosted by Optimizely, the event was a gold mine of information on A/B testing, personalization, and website experimentation.

This mini-series will contain summaries of some of the most helpful breakout sessions I attended. As data becomes easier to gather and all-the-more important in company decision making, product managers should constantly be aware of the latest and greatest in how best to test and make data-backed decisions.

In this post, I’ll be summarizing the main points from Esben Rasmussen and Jeppe Dyrby’s excellent 10 Secrets to Building an Amazing Mobile Testing Roadmap session. Esben and Jeppe are both engineers on a dedicated A/B testing team at eBay in Denmark.

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5 Tips for New Product Managers

Starting off as a new product manager might seem daunting. There are so many things to learn in such a short period of time, and you’re expected to provide the vision and roadmap for your team almost right away.

This post will cover some tips to help new product managers start off on the right foot. From understanding the market to meeting your team to getting the big picture, these action items provide a nice framework to approach the product manager role, whether you’re new to the company, the industry, or the profession itself.

1. Understand the market, the customers, and the product

One of the most important first steps for a new product manager is to understand the market. The best way to do so is to get as close to the customer as you can. Figure out how your company interacts with customers (listening labs, customer visits, formal/informal focus groups) and set a schedule right away to get involved. You want to understand the market and customer needs as quickly as you can because it will allow you to craft a great end product. Starting with the group that will be directly affected by that product is a good bet.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #33

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) The Next Feature Fallacy

Andrew Chen, former EIR at Mohr Davidow Ventures, writes about the danger of overestimating feature growth goals and why the vast majority of features won’t bend the engagement curve.

2) How to Hire the Right Kind of Product Manager for Each Startup Phase

Matthias Wagner, Founder at Kaktus Labs, breaks down the 6 phases of startups and the type of product manager that best corresponds with each.

3) How to Start Small

Anton Troynikov, Data Engineer at Wooga, created a system to help you decide what to do with every product idea and help you get started on all of them.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #32

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) Cohort Analysis That Helps You Look Ahead

Benn Stancil, Chief Analyst at Mode, provides alternative methods to expand your cohort analyses so that you can learn about your users and proactively improve your product.

2) How to Deliver Standout Customer Support on Any Channel

Sarah Chambers, Growth at Kayako, explains how to build a unified channel support system to help your team resolve inquiries more quickly and solve customer problems.

3) The Never Ending Road to Product Market Fit

Brian Balfour, VP of Growth at Hubspot, lays out the product-market fit check points that help you understand the traction and growth phase of your company in order to focus on the right goals, metrics, channels, and team structure.

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Gaining Respect as a Non-Technical PM

If you’ve been following the PM world even for a bit, you’ve probably come across the age-old question of how technical product managers should be. In many software startups and larger technology companies, technical backgrounds have become a strong requirement for PMs. However, this is not the absolute case and there are valid reasons why PMs do not have to come from engineering backgrounds in order to successfully deliver products.

This post aims to provide a quick look into ways non-technical PMs can succeed on the job and gain respect from the engineering team.

1. Communicate a strong vision for the product

As a PM, your primary responsibility is answering the what and why of the product rather than the how. One of the first things you should be absolutely comfortable with is developing a thorough understanding of your customer, the market, and the competition.

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